Townley Hall Woods is home to one of my favourite walks in Louth.
Part of the greater estate owned by the Balfour family, it sits on the edge of the Brú na Bóinne archaeological site.
Stroll through historic woodlands, and trace your steps across this ancient land towards royal battlegrounds for a legendary day out.
Below, you’ll find info on parking, the trail itself and what to look out for while you’re there. Dive on in!
Some quick need-to-knows before you visit Townley Hall Woods
Although a visit to Townley Hall Woods is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
2. Opening Hours
Townley Hall Woods are open 24-hours a day, there is no official open or closing times. Having said that, the best times to explore the woods are in the morning, or later in the afternoon, and mid-week rather than at weekends, as these tend to be quieter times.
There is parking at Townley Hall Woods for around 25 cars, if people park correctly (it’s here on Google Maps). Just keep in mind that it can fill up early on the weekends or when the weather is fine.
4. The walk
The walk is steeped in both fine woodland and ancient history. With the estate bordering on Brú na Bóinne, and near the Battle of the Boyne site, this woodland walk is unlike any other. Wander through King William’s Glen, and drink in the peace and quiet of this historic forest.
About Townley Hall Woods near Drogheda
Townley Hall Woods is part of the greater Townley Hall Estate, and home to the Balfour family. Whilst the Hall itself is not open to the public, visitors can explore much of the estate’s forest.
Unlike many woodlands, the Townley Hall forest borders on two areas of historic and archaeological significance. Firstly, located just downriver from the forest, is Brú na Bóinne, an archaeological site that predates Stonehenge.
More recently, the historic battle for the Scottish, English and Irish thrones, was decided when Protestant King William III and Catholic King James II fought at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, the site of which is only a short walk from the car park at Townley Hall Woods.
The forest has both old and ‘new’ growth, with a wide selection of trees being planted some 150-200 years ago by the Balfour family. Within the woods, you’ll find European silver firs, Scot’s pines, oaks and beeches, ash and sycamores a plenty along with other flora and fauna.
The Glen Wood Nature Trail
- Time: 30mins.
- Length: 1.6kms
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Start-point: Townley Hall Woods Car Park, or Townley Hall Entrance
Get a taste for history when you take a gentle stroll along the River Boyne, and through the Townley Hall Woods. To begin, park in either the Townley Hall entrance car park or the Townley Hall Woods car park, the walk is a loop and will return you to your point of origin.
It’s recommended to park at the Townley Hall entrance and walk in a clockwise direction so that you’ll come back along the riverbank on your return.
Whilst the beginning of the walk is slightly uphill on a gravel and uneven path, there are wonderful views to the south over the Battle of the Boyne site – you can also walk there from the Woods car park, as there is a Visitor Centre and access to the site itself.
There are three designated picnic spots along the way, one at each end of the loop near the car parks, and one near the viewpoint across to the Battle of the Boyne battlefield. The loop takes approximately 30-minutes to complete, covering 1.6km/1mi, and has a gentle incline of about 30-metres.
Things to see near Townley Hall Woods
One of the beauties of Townley Hall Woods is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best places to visit in Louth.
Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from Townley Hall Woods (plus places to eat and where to grab a post-adventure pint!).
1. Food in Drogheda
There’s plenty of great restaurants in Drogheda for those of you that fancy a post-ramble bite-to-eat. There’s also plenty of old-school pubs in Drogheda if you fancy polishing off your day with a tipple.
Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre (2-minute drive)
Located just across the River Boyne is the excellent Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre. Open 7-days a week, from 10am-4:30pm in summer, and 9am-3:30pm in winter. There is an audio-visual presentation on the battle, along with displays on weaponry, walled garden, toilets, and more. Booking online is recommended.
2. Brú na Bóinne (8-minute drive)
A World Heritage site that dates back some 7,000 years, Brú na Bóinne is a stunning ‘palace’ of prehistoric burials and life in the Neolithic age across the Irish landscape. Spread over 780 hectares, there are 3 main passage tombs and 90 monuments to be admired. Booking is essential, as no access is granted otherwise.
3. Slane Castle (10-minute drive)
Famous for rock concerts and the Slane Irish Whiskey Distillery, a visit to Slane wouldn’t be complete without exploring Slane Castle. Take a guided tour of the castle, and discover its secrets. Or, take a whiskey tour and develop your tastes for the finer things in life. Open Thursday-Sunday, from 10am-11pm.
FAQs about visiting Townley Hall
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Are they worth visiting?’ to ‘Where do you park?’.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
How long is the Townley Hall Woods walk?
The walk takes around 30 minutes to complete. It’s a loop and it’s nice and leisurely. Perfect for a weekend afternoon.
Where do you park for Townley Hall Woods?
There’s parking at Townley Hall Woods for around 25 cars. Keep in mind that it can get busy at the weekends.
Katherine is an food and travel writer with family-roots in Ireland. She enjoys hitting the road at every given opportunity, and can often be found with an atlas and notebook to hand planning the next big trip.